LRS receives Chicago contract to collect residential recyclables

Chicago’s Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) has announced that Morton Grove, Illinois-based Lakeshore Recycling Systems, which recently rebranded to LRS, will assume residential recycling collection services in four of Chicago’s six recycling regions beginning this June, while DSS crews will continue services in two areas.

According to a news release from DSS and LRS, four companies submitted bids, and the lowest bidder, LRS, was selected for the three-year contract. DSS says the contract is for $79.6 million and that the department is working with partners to ensure a smooth transition.

The city and company say LRS has “more recycling assets than any other company in the Chicago area, including a state-of-the-art single-stream recycling facility.” As part of the contract, LRS will collect recycling with less than 50 percent contamination.

A spokesperson from the city of Chicago tells Recycling Today that LRS will submit daily reports on carts with more than 50 percent contamination with photographic evidence. The spokesperson says the city also will have field staff to monitor contamination levels.

“The contract allows for penalties for missed collection and has a greater clarification around contamination,” says Chicago Commissioner John Tully.

A contract following this three-year contract will be guided by the results of a citywide waste study led by the Mayor’s Office, in partnership with Delta Institute, which is expected to be released later this quarter. The city says the study reviews current waste- and recycling-related policies, contracts, data and infrastructure. The study will guide the development of a framework for further improving recycling and waste diversion, including in commercial and high-density residential settings.

The spokesperson for the city tells Recycling Today that the city hopes the study provides recommendations for the city’s material management that will inform and improve recycling and waste diversion for residential, commercial and high-density residential settings.